SFX Issue 36

March 1998

SFX historical note: Life, The Universe And Everything was a fairly long-running regular feature, kind of SFX ’s version of “How much is a pint of milk?” Except not.

Life, The Universe And Everything:

Paul Darrow

New SFX, still the same old questions – what do Science Fiction’s leading lights want to share with us about the universe’s important little matters. And what’s wrong with The Liberator?

Do you actually like science fiction?

“I have to say that I didn’t until I appeared in Blake’s 7 . It’s not that I disliked it, it’s just I didn’t really know anything about it. But then I did Blake’s 7 , and started to meet people in the science fiction world. I met Isaac Asimov in New York, and he said, ‘Do you read science fiction?’ and when I said, ‘Not really,’ he said ‘Do you want to read mine?’ So I read a couple of his and enjoyed them, and then I read Arthur C Clarke, Michael Moorcock, and of course Tanith Lee, who wrote for Blake’s 7 .”

Which SF character would you most like to be?

“I wouldn’t have minded a crack at Han Solo, but Mr Harrison Ford’s got that one sown up! One of my favourite movies is Blade Runner , so that would have been interesting.”

What’s the last SF book you read?

“That was 3001, Arthur C Clarke.”

Which was the best Bond film?

“Oooh, that’s hard. I liked Doctor No , but I think From Russia with Love .”

Does Chris Evans deserve a raise or a firing squad?

“Well, whatever I say he’s going to get a raise.”

Favourite Spice Girl?

“They don’t interest me at all. I’m into individual singers, really… the last group I had a thing about was The Supremes.”

What would you do if you won the lottery?

“Depends how much.”

Which is your favourite film?

“It’s impossible to answer that question. Casablanca is certainly one of them, but I suppose if you push me – and you are doing, aren’t you? – Shane .”

Four Weddings and a Funeral – tripe or triumph?

“I thought it was a great film – loved it.”

Should Rick have got on the plane with Ilsa at the end of Casablanca?

“No.”

Should starship captains have hair?

“Now listen, I might bump into Pat Stewart, so I’m being real careful here! I don’t think it matters…”

Who was the best Doctor?

“I never watched it very much, and dear old Jon Pertwee would hate me for not saying him, as I did one with him, and one with Colin Baker, but from what I saw of it I liked Tom Baker very much.”

How do Daleks get upstairs?

“With great difficulty I should think…”

Is Elvis alive?

“I wish.”

Star sign?

“Taurus – mean, moody and magnificent!”

Favourite colour?

“Black… otherwise blue.”

Who should play you in a bio-pic?

“As a young man, Johnny Depp... when I’m a little older, Al Pacino.”

Which spaceship would you like to own?

“I certainly wouldn’t want Mir… I thought the Enterprise was pretty special.”

Do aliens exist?

“Aliens don’t, but other people do.”